The Diploma Programme Core: Extended Essay

  • The Extended Essay, a substantial piece of academic writing of up to 4,000 words, enables students to investigate a topic of special interest that they have chosen themselves; this encourages the development of independent research skills expected at university.

    The Extended Essay is:

    • Required for all Diploma Programme students
    • A piece of independent research/investigation on a topic chosen by the student in cooperation with a supervisor in the school
    • Chosen from the list of approved Diploma Programme subjects normally one of the student’s six chosen subjects for the IB diploma presented as a formal piece of scholarship containing no more than 4,000 words
    • The result of approximately 40 hours of work by the student
    • Externally assessed and, in combination with the grade for theory of knowledge, contributes up to three points to the total score for the IB diploma

    "The extended essay is an in-depth study of a focused topic chosen from the list of approved Diploma Programme subjects. It is intended to promote high-level research and writing skills, intellectual discovery and creativity. It provides students with an opportunity to engage in personal research in a topic of their own choice, under the guidance of a supervisor (a teacher in the school)." — "Nature of the Extended Essay," International Baccalaureate.

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